Despite the growing use of tablets and other devices in the workplace, desktop PCs continue to be the computing machines of choice for many workers around the world. And whether you’re chained to a desk all day or armed with the latest laptop, the “physical” keyboard continues to play a crucial role in productivity.
One thing you could try to make using your keyboard more productive (and fun) are some of the various keyboard shortcuts designed to do just that.
There are quite a few shortcuts out there and depending on what applications you use; they may not all be of interest. We’ve focused on a few of the most valuable Windows keyboard shortcuts that we found and listed them below to help you work smarter and faster.
Shortcuts for the Windows desktop
The following shortcuts let you toggle between app windows and quickly resize them without having to reach for a mouse or align your apps.
- Windows key + D
Minimize all app windows and jump straight to the desktop. Hit the shortcut again to bring all apps back to the foreground.
- Windows keys + Comma
Take a quick peek at your desktop, and then release the keys to snap all apps back to the foreground.
- Windows key + Left Arrow, or Windows key + Right Arrow
Dock your app windows to the left or right of the screen.
- Windows key + Down Arrow, or Windows key + Up Arrow
Maximize or minimize a selected app. Or dock your app windows to the top or bottom of your display, when app windows are already docked to the left or right.
Toggle an active window in and out of full screen mode.
- Ctrl + Esc
Bring up your Start menu. (This is particularly helpful if you use a keyboard that doesn’t have a Windows key.)
Shortcuts to move around a Document
These useful shortcuts help move the cursor around your page instead of using a mouse or trackpad.
- Ctrl + Right Arrow, or Ctrl + Left Arrow
Move the cursor one word to the right or left.
- Ctrl + Down Arrow, or Ctrl + Up Arrow
Move the cursor to the start or end of the next or previous paragraph.
- Ctrl + Z, or Ctrl + Y
Undo or redo almost any action, as long as the app supports the feature.
Shortcuts for a Windows web browser
These browser shortcuts all work the in latest versions of Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome.
- Alt + D
Put the cursor into the browser’s address bar.
- Ctrl + W, or Ctrl + T
Close or open a new browser tab.
- Ctrl + Shift + T
Reopen the last browser tab you closed. (This comes in handy when if you hit Ctrl + W too quickly.)
- Ctrl + Plus sign, or Ctrl + Minus sign
Zoom in and out on a web page. Reset the zoom level with Ctrl + 0.
- Ctrl + Tab, or Ctrl + Shift + Tab
Toggle to the next browser tab from left to right, or from right to left.
- Alt + Right Arrow, or Alt + Left Arrow
Browse forward or backward through recently visited websites. These shortcuts perform the same function as a browser’s Forward and Back buttons.
Shortcuts for locking up and shutting down Windows
These will help you lock your PC or shut down if an app seems to be frozen.
- Windows key + L
Immediately lock your PC.
- Ctrl + Shift + Esc
Open the Task Manager to monitor app or forcibly shut down frozen programs.
- Alt + F4
Close an active app. Using this shortcut key when your desktop is at the forefront invokes the “Shut Down Windows” prompt.